– my personal views on all walks of outdoor life

The First Finnish Packrafting Gathering


At the river in August 2014.

We’d like to invite you to the first ever gathering of packrafters in Finland. A well seasoned veteran, happy owner of a new boat or a complete beginner with a borrowed or rented boat – all are welcome! From Finland or from abroad, doesn’t matter.

This is an open invitation for anyone interested and having an access to a packraft.

Martinkoski rapids with record low water level in August 2014.

The meeting will take place at river Kymijoki in Southern Finland just North of Kotka from Friday October 3rd to Sunday October 5th.The schedule is flexible so you can join only for a part of the weekend or for the whole meeting depending on your schedule and preferences.


The Kuovinkallio shelter.

The gathering starts at Friday (3.10.) evening at Kuovinkallio shelter (WGS84 lat 60.64145° lon 26.75634°) at Ahvionkosket.

There’s a road access, parking space for a dozen cars or so, sheltered fire-place, woodshed and a toilet plus lots of decent places to pitch your shelter. Evening may be spent by the fire at the shelter and/or on the river. The beautiful section of island dotted Ahvionkosket rapids starts from the shelter and there’s easy two kilometer (2km) road or trail walk back to the shelter.

On Saturday (4.10.) we will leave from the Kuovinkallio shelter downstream starting at 12:00.

We will paddle down the river passing Martinkoski (class 1-2) and Kultaankoski (class 1 or less) which can also be easily portaged. We will continue on the Western fork of the river to reach the outskirts of Valkmusa National Park. This means about 9 kilometers of packrafting.

Finding our way to the Moronvuori hut along the small ditches with the high water of October 2012. This year it’ll be walking.

At some point we will change into hiking mode and walk about 2 kilometers to Moronvuori Day Trip Hut (WGS84 lat 60.56499° lon 26.75834°) in Valkmusa National Park. There is a hut, sheltered fireplace, a woodshed and a toilet. Evening will be spent at the area.

Exploring the Haukanvuori rock by the hut.

There is no planned program for Sunday (5.10.) and you are free to do as you wish. Options include for example:

– Hiking (4km) and/or paddling (2km hike + 3km paddling) from the hut back to the road 3562 in the West. A shuttle car back to Kuovinkallio may be arranged in advance.
– Paddling the Western fork (Hirvikoskenhaara) to Pyhtää or the Eastern fork to Kotka. Even all the way to the sea! Both require short hike back to the river.
– Playboating in Pernoonkosket rapids at the start of the Eastern fork. Require again short hike. A shuttle car back to Kuovinkallio may be arranged in advance.
– …or something completely different. It’s all up to you!

Surfing at Torminvirta in Pernoonkosket rapids in October 2012.

To get an idea of how many people are joining, when and what they’d like to do and to share rides, please fill in the Doodle questionnaire.

This is an informal and free gathering of like-minded outdoors people so in the end everybody is responsible for themselves. Bring the kit you need and remember to leave no trace!


The location of Kuovinkallio shelter
The Valkmusa National Park
The Moronvuori Day Trip hut
White water kayaking notes for Ahvionkoske, Pernoonkosket and Hirvikoski rapids (in Finnish)
– Photos from the Kymijoki river and the Valkmusa National Park in October 2012 (high water level)
– Photos from Ahvionkosket area in August 2014 (record low water level)
Packrafting video from Torminvirta in Pernoonkosket during near-record-high water level in October 2012
– Packrafting videos (one and two) from Martinkoski during record low water level in August 2014

Not having a packraft? No problem! Rent one from BackpackingNorth!


– Informal and free for all gathering of packrafters
– At Kymijoki on 3.-5.10.2014
– Starting from Kuovinkallio shelter at Ahvionkosket and traveling to Moronvuori day trip hut at Valkmusa National Park (see above for more information).
– Bring your own boat, camping gear and food!
Please fill in the Doodle questionnaire if you’re coming!

Martinkoski with the exceptionally high water level in October 2012.



12 responses to “The First Finnish Packrafting Gathering

  1. RobP 28/08/2014 at 01:06

    This sounds a fun way to explore. Just visited the rental website and can’t believe they only weigh around 2.5 kg and pack up to the size of a small tent! That really makes it a viable means of getting around!

  2. korpijaakko 28/08/2014 at 08:14

    It’s enough if you have an access to a packraft and happen to be in Finland at the time. So you’re more than welcome, Alastair! 😉 I even bet there would be several people willing to let you crash at their place if you uneed a place to stay/sleep.

  3. korpijaakko 28/08/2014 at 08:18

    They are great tools to get around and explore places otherwise difficult to reach. Needless to say, I really like them. 🙂

    The lightest (non robust) models are only 650g with matching paddles around 350g. And there are really robust but simple & light designs around 1,5-2kg. And even the bigger and well equipped models will fit in your rucksack or carry-on luggage in plane. Take a look also at the Packrafting Store website (banner on the sidebar). They have a great selection of different models.

  4. bodach 01/09/2014 at 16:19

    “how much” white water is to be expected here and what will be the water temperature at that time?
    … having a explorer 42.

  5. korpijaakko 02/09/2014 at 00:10

    Hi bodach!

    If you’re alone, then Explorer 42 will be just fine. If you’re two in one raft the Martinkoski will take some easy but detailed manouvering but is doable and as an option, there’s very easy and short portage.

    There will be only two sections of white water on route:
    – Martinkoski (class 1 or 2): plenty of water and big waves but a way past them, as an option there’s Kotokoski (likely class 1+) less water but requires some maneuvering past rocks.
    – Kultaankoski (class 1 or below): easy section of faster water with a littlewave on the way, no problem (also a way around on the other for of the river) .

    Avarage water temperature at the time is around +11C. Not especially warm but the river is calm/flat except for the two short sections that can be easily portaged.

    Welcome aboard!

  6. Thomas Moder 02/09/2014 at 07:53

    Hi there, sounds awesome.
    I just took a packrafting course with the result of aquiring a new CuriYak. Since I have a week off from 27.09-05.10 I think about taking a walk in Finland and then join the gathering (rather than my original plan of walking around the Lake District in the UK) – if thats ok. Of course I would have to take a flight back home at Sunday ~noon.
    I guess I might as well take the class 1+ water way with my small boat and try not to get soaked.
    Cheers from Austria,

  7. korpijaakko 02/09/2014 at 20:43

    Hi Thomas! Awesome to hear from you and yo uare more than welcome to join! You should be fine with the CuriYak on the route. And I’d be more than interested to see and try it. 😉 If possible try to arrange the return flight on Sunday as late as possible so you could come to the hut in the National Park for the Sat-Sun night.

    Tip: For public transportation Kotka and Kouvola are nearby and have reasonable connections to Helsinki. You can find train connections at http://www.vr.fi and bus connections at http://www.matkahuolto.fi Of course there will be (likely) people coming from Helsinki so it’s possible also to get ride back if it fits your schedule.

  8. Pingback: Packrafting at Kymijoki | Korpijaakko

  9. Elias 28/09/2014 at 19:07

    I’ll be coming from Espoo at Friday so if someone would like to share a ride message me at

  10. Pingback: Reminder: The First (Finnish) Packraft Gathering | Korpijaakko

  11. Pingback: Outdoor Year 2014 in Pictures | Korpijaakko

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